Adult Learning Across USA, Canada, and New Zealand: A Cross-Cultural Study of PIAAC

  •  Chong Ho Yu    
  •  Hyun Seo Lee    
  •  Emily Lara    
  •  Siyan Gan    


Skeptics of Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trend for International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) argue that while US elementary and high school students are behind their peers in other nations, the US workforce is still excellent because of the high quality post-secondary educational institutions in the US. However, the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) indicates that US adults are in fact far behind their international peers in literacy, numeracy, and technology-based problem solving. Through the use of data mining, this study explored the possible association between PIAAC scores and several constructs. Since the US, Canada, and New Zealand were considered culturally similar nations, according to cluster analysis, patterns between PIAAC scores and selected constructs were analyzed by a variety of big data analytical methods, including cluster analysis, bootstrap forest, boosted tree, and data visualization. Given that PIAAC used multiple computerized adaptive testing, the consequential plausible values were randomly selected when the ensemble approach was used. Additionally, model comparison was utilized to decide between bagging and boosting in order to select the optimal model for each sample. In these samples, cultural engagement, readiness to learn, and social trust, respectively emerged as strong predictors for learning outcomes as they were assessed by PIAAC.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.